As much variation as there is among holsters, most follow a rather conventional pattern: a clip or clips to hold to a belt, maybe a claw for added concealment, and a pocket that completely contains the gun. Over 90 percent of holsters fit this mold. But in a world that thrives on innovation, sometimes manufacturers buck the trend to stand out. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
The Mission First Tactical Minimalist Appendix IWB is just such a system-bucking holster. Not the first of its kind, it is still certainly a rare breed.
The Minimalist Appendix IWB starts with a molded Boltaron half shell that looks totally inadequate and not at all up to the task of holding a gun, which piqued my interest: Why would a reputable holster maker offer a holster that didn’t actually hold a gun? Did Mission First Tactical succeed or fail at its job? I put it to the test.
As I was naturally skeptical, I first tried the holster as I always do with an unloaded Shield 9 mm. First test: Will it hold the gun? Answer: Yes, and quite firmly at that. The gun locked in with an audible click and stayed locked in despite my shaking it. First test: pass.
Second test: the draw. I inserted the holster into my waistband, tucked the single clip over my belt, and stashed the setup as I would a normal carry. Then I drew the gun the way I always do. And it worked: came right out and left the holster behind and in place. Second test: pass.
Third test: reholster one handed. This one made me nervous. Fear is often irrational, and it was here, too. Even though I know a holster is never strong enough to stop a bullet, I’ve always felt more comfortable reholstering into a complete shell. It makes no ballistic sense, but there it is. I was nervous about this holster rotating out of alignment when I pushed the gun back in, but that didn’t happen. Instead, it held firm, not moving at all throughout the reholster process.
As small as the Mission First Tactical Minimalist Appendix IWB is, it still fits all three of my standard holster criteria: it must cover the trigger and trigger guard, must hold the gun securely, and must allow for one-handed reholstering. MFT warns on their website that you should remove the holster before inserting the gun, so it is best to follow their advice, but I did find it possible to reholster with it still in my waistband.
One important note: while some appendix rigs can also be carried strongside, this one definitely cannot. It is designed for appendix carry only.
Overall, I was a lot more impressed with this holster than I thought I would be at first glance. And at just $34.99 on their website, it is at a good price point.